Posts tagged dogs

Porches

Like all good Southerner ladies I picked up the August edition of Southern Living today. I love that magazine- saying anything negative about it would, in my opinion, be blasphemy.
My fondness of the magazine stems largely from my memories of looking at them growing up. My Mimi always got Southern Living in the mail. We would go to the post office and pick up the mail on Saturdays and the first thing I did was thumb through looking at the beautiful homes and tasty looking recipes. Looking at the magazine today is a bit of nostalgia for me. It brings back that familiar feeling. I love it.

This month’s addition has an article called The Porch written by Rick Bragg that gave me that old feeling and brought memories to light that had began to fade. While reading Mr. Bragg’s memories of his childhood porch, I was compelled to share memories I have of sitting on front porches as a child.

I was blessed enough to grow up knowing my great-grandparents. We visited them every single Sunday from the time I was born until they passed away when I was about 14. We may have missed one every now and then, but in my mind’s eye and memory, it seems like literally every Sunday the entire family would gather for lunch.
When I think back on those days I remember several things, but I wish I could recall every single detail. It’s funny how things don’t seem that important until they don’t happen anymore. I long to hold on to some of those traditions because they were fun. They were simple. And they made me who I am.

Blue Cream Soda
One of my great-uncles always brought a cooler full of these that sat on the porch for the day. I don’t know that he particularly like them- I’m assuming he must have- but who knows??? When I see one now I HAVE to have it. It’s no longer a drink to me- it’s an experience.

Home Made Ice Cream
Vanilla, strawberry, and peach. I don’t remember any other flavors ever being made. Who needs anything else when you have Heaven in a bowl? I made my own this year for July 4th. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time and it made me think- I am now the age that the old generation was when they started doing the exact thing for their families. That is a special feeling.

Porch Swings
They are the most therapeutic thing in existence. If more people had them, more therapists would be out of work! We use to swing like our life depended on it. The kids would get into arguments over “whose turn” it was! On a hilarious note- some cousins and I were swinging, and I guess there were too many of us or we were too heavy, or maybe someone just did a really crappy job of hanging the swing, but it fell while we were mid-swing! I barely remember that now- but it still makes me chuckle! Typing this now make me realize how much I want a swing!

42
If you know what it is- you rock! If you don’t, I’m sorry, you have truly missed out!
42 is a domino game. Usually people play on teams of two. I haven’t played on for-ev-er… So I can’t remember all the rules. I’m going to have to re-learn! Anyway, the “old people” always played when I was growing up- very loudly! I’m talking slamming dominoes on the table, keeping score, raising voices. Thinking back, that was kind of extreme.

Walking
We must have walked thousands of miles. For no good reason, we just walked to walk…and talk. Granny and Paw Paw lived about 150 yards from my Mimi and Papa and about 100 yards from the cemetery where most of our family is buried. We walked to the cemetery all the time (yep, kinda creepy!) Granny would tell us stories about the different people who were buried there. I don’t really know how that got started- but it was nice.

Cousins
I have 11 first cousins and got to see all of them on a regular basis. I didn’t realize it then but that is special. Not many kids get the chance to have those close relationships. Not all of us went to school together- but we knew on Sundays everyone would be there telling tales, playing hide and go seek, and just plain having fun.

Go sit on your porch. Or your neighbor’s porch. Or, for that matter, anyone’s porch who will let you sit with them a spell. Listen to the cicadas sing. Swat mosquitos. Take it all in.

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Empty Promises or I Swear I’ll Be A Better Blogger…someday.

It’s been a long time blogger friends…a very long time! Before you start throwing cyber stones at me, please give me a chance to explain. I haven’t been a neglectful blog-writer just because. I have reasons!

I haven’t shared this with you all before, but in my attempt to redeem myself I’ll share the reason for my hiatus. Brace yourself- my husband has been battling cancer. Since January we have faced 2 surgeries, a round of radiation, multiple physician visits, and a mountain made up of fear and worry. It has been a beautiful and traumatic journey that has not been nearly as bad as one would imagine. However, cancer sucks. It’s no fun. It takes you (and your emotions) to hell and back. It is more exhausting and trying than anything I could possibly imagine! But we have made it! I have the urge to shout that from the roof tops! WE HAVE MADE IT! We have lots of follow ups to come, but hopefully, we are on the down hill slope and D will have a complete cure. This is my prayer and my meditation daily.

I have not shared that with you before for many reasons. Lack of time and a need for privacy being the two most prominent. And because honestly I really haven’t given much thought to the backyard in the last several months. I am only divulging it now because you, my readers, deserve at least that nugget of information. I hope that you’ll all be understanding and give me another chance to entertain you with tales from my backyard!

We are down to 2 chickens. Harry and Sally. Sally laid her very first egg last week! We aren’t sure of the day but when we found her “stash” there were 3 there- so its safe to assume she’d been laying for 3 days. Harry refuses to lay an egg. I think it’s her way of punishing me and D for giving her a boy name. Maybe she’s sexually confused. IDK. I’ve been letting them free range around the backyard since it’s just the two of them and they love it!

I plan on bringing more chickens into our brood in the next couple of months. I want to get them past the tiny baby stage before it starts getting cool. Stay tuned for that!

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Tomatoes!

Hi fellow bloggers! I know that from my last blog entitled “I’m Back”, you probably assumed I’d get back to making regular posts. NOT! For some unknown reason I’ve had a case of laziness writers block and truthfully, the backyard has been a pretty uneventful place.

The chickens have been scratching around the yard…there are still two of them- so I’m deeming myself a chicken raising master!

We’ve been getting a little rain and it has been H-O-T so the grass has been growing like crazy!

Guess what else has been growing like crazy… Yep! The garden has been growing by leaps and bounds every week- but it hasn’t been anything really picture worthy because, other than a few cukes and some okra, nothing had really ripened yet…until today!

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I picked these today! And they were delish!!!!!!!

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These 4 are Early Girls. I guess the name is appropriate because they were the first to ripen! By the end of the week there will be even more to pick from some of the other plants!

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I’m Back!

Hi fellow bloggers! After a brief hiatus, I’m back! It feels so great to be back in the backyard and working in my garden!

I was stunned to see the growth that occurred in just 1 week! Yes, I was only gone 1 week…and yes, I know I haven’t blogged in 2 weeks I wish that I could just sit in the backyard all the time and blog continuously about all the awesomeness that occurs here…but unfortunately life gets in the way of that…maybe one day I can find a way to get paid for working in my garden!!! That would rock!

Check out what’s been happening around here lately:

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I am SO proud of my first bounty! It was very therapeutic to pull these things off the vine…I cannot explain the satisfaction it brought me! I am instantly regretting not planting more!

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These are just a couple of shots of the whole garden. Isn’t it amazing what you can do in such a small space?

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I even had this little lady visit the backyard today! Nothing puts me in a good mood like seeing a lady bug! Don’t make fun of me…I’ll take good luck any way I can get it!!!

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And now for a little confession- I’m down to these two chickens. I know- It seems like I have completely sucked at raising these chicks! However, it has just been a series of unfortunate events (the hawk and Cotton- our dog, being those unfortunate events) that have placed me in this position! I feel terrible for these little guys because between watching the sky for the next dive bomb and trying to keep one eye on our sneaky blue healer, they can’t catch a minutes rest!
I have vowed to keep a closer eye on them, and if these two make it to the fall “D” and I are going to build them a better coup with a protected little yard just for them!

I am about to begin canning so I can put up some of my veggies. Anyone know of a good book?

As always, thanks for stopping by the backyard! Come back soon!

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A Look Outside

The garden continues to grow daily by leaps and bounds. Take a look:

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I ate one of the strawberries today and it was delicious! This variety doesn’t seem to get very big but they are still very tasty!

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The cucumbers are coming along too!
There are about 8 to 10 that are this size and there are tons that are tiny. I can’t wait to make pickles using my own cucumbers and dill!
My great-grandmother use to make homemade sweet pickles that had a spicy kick to them…I’m going to try and figure out how she did it and make some with these.

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Remember when I told you I got lettuce seeds from a friend??? Well here is the product! Healthy Romaine.

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The tomatoes are still doing really well! I’ve got 29 tomatoes on the vine as of today. The ones pictured here are cherry reds.

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And the onions! We’ve already cut the greens and used them a couple of times and they are already this big again!

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The okra. Hasn’t changed much in the last couple of days. But it still looks great. It continues to grow. I have a feeling we are going to have more than we know what to do with!

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You haven’t heard me talk about the peppers a lot because I haven’t been too pleased with them. They are just now producing these tiny little peppers and all of my gardening friends already have huge peppers on their plants. When I planted these I think I put them a couple of inches too deep. Hopefully now they have gotten over the hump! I’ll know better next year!

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And last but not least, the baby chickens! Lol! They aren’t exactly babies anymore. And thankfully they are out of that really ugly stage. They actually look like real chickens. I’m sure you noticed in the picture that there are only 4! The hawk got another one. These little guys have managed to survive 2 hawk attacks, 2 down pours, and 2 dogs. Hopefully we are in the clear now and they can live the rest of their days peacefully!

I will be away from the backyard for a little while, but no fear, my mom is coming to tend to everything while we are away! I can’t let all this hard work go to waste 😉
As soon as I am able I’ll be back to show you how it’s all coming along in Britt’s Backyard. See you soon!

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Signs of Life

Guess what?!?!? I’ve officially got tomatoes on my vines!

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This is the largest one! It is an Early Girl 50 Day tomato. It has not be fifty days but this little guy was ready to come out and say hello!
Also blooming are the Husky Cherry Reds and the Celebrities.

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I cannot tell you how excited I am about this! I literally contemplated staying home from work this morning so I could just sit and marvel at my tomato plants!
Unfortunately, that “mature adult” voice came to me and I remembered I’m not yet a millionaire, so work is a necessary evil

I was kind of in panic mode all day because I was worried one of the billion birds in my backyard would eye my baby tomatoes and eat them, so when I got off I went and purchased a little “protection device” to deal with the birds.

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LOL! I love these things! They really only work at keeping pests (birds and squirrels) away until they realize that it never moves, eats, and is eerily quit, but I still had to have it! Maybe my birds and squirrels are “special” and this little puppy will work for a while!

I also have ten little strawberries on my strawberry plant! Take a look!

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It won’t be long and we’ll be enjoying a delicious bounty of fresh and pure veggies and fruit!!!

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Sipping in my Backyard

I’ve come to realize that I suck at blogging. There is no way to sugar coat it! I could have an awesome blog, but instead I choose to sit around and drink wine and think about all the humorous things I will probably never say in my blog.
Well, today I’m making a change! I vow to stop being a once a week mediocre blogger and actually tell you about all the awesome things going on in Britt’s Backyard!

For starters, you need to see the chicks! They are getting so big. They officially have all their feathers and walk around the yard scratching and eating all sorts of bugs and ants. I’m still feeding them a starter feed- but when this bag is gone I think I’ll just do fruit and veggie scraps along with whatever they find in the yard. Occasionally they fly up and sit on the chairs or fence railing and roost. I keep saying it would make a cool picture but I haven’t been successful at capturing it.

Another awesome thing going on in the yard is the influx of birds we have had this week. Ever since D put up the feeder we have had birds come to it, but not like this! They have been flocking to it- no pun intended! This morning two sparrows got into a fight right in front of us. Today alone I have seen: Cardinals, Sparrows, Doves, & some random kind that I can’t name. I also saw the Hawk today! He did a fly-by while I was mowing. Even though he killed one of my chickens I still can’t help but think how pretty he is.

D also told me that we have babies in our Bluebird house. I haven’t actually seen them but he swears he saw the mama and the daddy flying in and out of the house!

At D’s request, we have added to the garden. There was a couple of feet that wasn’t being utilized and he could not stand it! So we added: watermelon, banana peppers, and egg plant. We also planted more cilantro because we love it! The difference between store-bought and fresh is remarkable. Plus, it is super easy and low maintenance.

The cucumbers are on steroids! They are growing like crazy!!! Today we put up a little trellis so hopefully they will grow up it.

We also added two new adirondack chairs to our sitting area. All we need now is a fire pit to have the perfect outdoor area!

To pay homage to the title of this post: a quick and easy drink recipe for you:

1 part orange juice
1 part pineapple juice
1 cup crushed ice

Mix everything together and enjoy the perfect (virgin) summer drink!

If you’re really cool mix 1 part vodka in to that refreshing cocktail…And then call me…because I’m pretty sure we could be friends!

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